Please Introduce Yourself
My name is Ashley Johnson, better known by my stage name Rose Starring. I was born in Kansas City, MO, but raised in Marco Island, FL, from age 12. In December of 2020, I received my Bachelor's of Science in Recording Industry from MTSU. I now live in Smyrna, Tennessee, and teach yoga as my daytime job. In addition to working on recording and performing around the greater Nashville area.
With the recent success of her newest EP, Stages of Grief, this pop artist shows off her angelic vocals and tells her story in a very authentic and raw way. That is very uncommon in the "POP" Genre. We wanted to get to know this amazing artist.
Who Introduced you to music?
My family always listened to a lot of the radio growing up, especially when we’d take 3-hour road trips to the Lake of the Ozarks, so I was exposed to a lot of 90s and 2000s country, adult alternative, and pop.
The first time that a song spoke to me on a deeper level was Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton. My dad used to play it on guitar and ask me to sing along to it. As a naturally sensitive child, I could always tell that the song was both so sweet and comforting in a way, yet heart-wrenching. This song, plus "Tears of Gold” which was used in my grandpa’s funeral service, are my first memories of being emotionally moved by music.
What was the first instrument you first picked up?
Apart from singing, my first instrument was the piano! I started taking lessons when I was 10 and instantly fell in love. The piano will always be one of my first loves.
Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
I remember my sister and I would write songs together on the tube while tubing on the Lake of the Ozarks because it was our only private time away from our family on those vacations!
I remember writing a song that we thought was amazing at the time called “Golden Days.” I can remember the chorus that we performed for my family: “In my golden days / I got all the praise / My boss gave me a raise / But that was in my golden days.” It’s so hilarious to us now because we were both definitely under the age of 10 when we wrote those lyrics.
We never got anything from back then recorded, but have always wanted to start a side project as a duo together!
Do you have a moment that stands out to you as the moment you knew you were meant to be a musician?
Probably when I started singing at the church as a child. I always felt strangely comfortable and not even very nervous at the ambo, leading the congregation in music. Looking over the crowd that looked expectantly back at me, waiting for a song, definitely started to feel like home to me.
What keeps you motivated?
What keeps me motivated is hearing from my fans about how my music has helped them get through different things in their life!
I will never forget when one of my best friends showed me Lana Del Rey’s album Born to Die for the first time, and I finally felt seen and understood. I was going through a lot at the time due to family and having to move across the country the summer that I went into the eighth grade. Lana’s music really comforted me and let me know that I wasn’t alone in my sadness.
I make music because I simply can’t live without it. Using music and songwriting as an outlet has always come naturally to me and I hope always will. It’s a universal language that everyone can speak, and I think that is so beautiful. Music never leaves. In this way, it has been my one constant in life.
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